Can my company be held legally responsible for the failure of my courier to meet regulatory guidelines?
Yes, especially when your company cannot display vendor selection due diligence.
It is important to show that your firm has performed due diligence in the selection of a vendor that includes the vetting of your vendor’s policies, procedures, training, security protocols, and breach notification systems.
Due diligence can be simplified and expedited by selecting vendors that maintain third party certifications. However, a vendor holding third party certifications is not alone enough to prove due diligence and some documentation of the validity and effectiveness of the certification should also be done by the contracting organization.
Selecting the wrong courier service can put your business at risk. Indications that you have not chosen a reputable and compliant courier can increase your liability in the event of a vehicle accident or injury.
Here is a list of criteria that all major businesses expect their courier service to meet.
1. Does your current provider have Operating Authority?
In general, companies that do the following are required to have interstate operating authority (MC number) in addition to a DOT number:
- Operating as for-hire carriers (for a fee or other compensation)
- Transporting passengers, or arranging for their transport, in interstate commerce
- Transporting federally regulated commodities or arranging for their transport, in interstate commerce
It’s highly unlikely the DOT will stop an unmarked car to check operating authority, however, it is key to proving your business works with a reputable and compliant courier service.
Use the link below to verify if your courier meets the requirements. Select “Name” and submit to view a company’s profile.
2. Does your courier service have an Umbrella policy?
Umbrella Liability insurance provides an extra layer of protection against bodily injury and/or property damage. Essentially, it picks up where your courier service’s business auto liability, general liability or other liability coverage stops.
3. Does your courier service have insurance requirements for 1099 Owner/Operators?
All independent contractors using their own vehicle must have additional insurance that provides coverage while using their vehicle for work activities.
Visit “Insurance and Safety” under the “About” tab to see additional steps taken by SGI \ when entering an agreement with an owner operator.
4. Does your provider have General Liability?
5. Does your provider have Commercial Auto?
Courier services without the proper coverage can put your operation at risk, and susceptible to claims.
6. Does your provider have Cargo Coverage?
Cargo Coverage will ensure you can recoup any losses from damaged or missing items if your provider is transporting items of monetary value.
Visit “Insurance and Safety” under the “About” tab to see the full list of SGI coverage.
Here is a line we are all too familiar with, “If you or someone you know was hit by a company vehicle or delivery driver call (insert 1+800 number) now.” It’s important to note It does not take a major collision or accident to put you at risk. Claims can be filed for small collisions a.k.a “fender benders” as well. When given the opportunity, a plaintiff’s attorney will check to see if your courier is compliant with all federal and local government rules and regulations.
You should pay particular attention to this information when your provider is performing services for your business during “after-hours” times. Drivers that have driven more than the federally regulated time put you at additional risk. Driving at night and/or being tired also increases chances of accident, injury, and cargo claims.